Will Sending More Emails Get Me Blacklisted For Spam?

One fear that newcomers to email marketing have is:


Spam complaints are nothing to take lightly.

Rack up enough of them and you could find yourself locked out of your email software.

Or you could wind up on the “naughty list” like subscriber Justin, who writes:

Have you had to deal with de-listing yourself from Spam blacklists?

In my last run of promo emails, some folks marked it as spam (specifically identifying mysite.com).

I used to work for an ESP, so I understand how this stuff works, just wondering if it’s ever been a problem for you

(Especially since you send SO MUCH email)

When you get blacklisted like this, you’ll find that many of the emails you send go straight to your readers’ spam folder.

Not good.

Many new email marketers worry that the more emails they send, the more spam complaints they’ll rack up—and the more likely they’ll find themselves on the blacklist.

So the safest choice is to email less often, right?

Well, not exactly…

When I got Justin’s email, I did some quick checks in my email software account.

Between September 18 and October 18 of last year, I sent 36 email blasts—that’s 1.2 per *day* on average.

And I got a total of—drumroll please—

5 spam complaints.

When I looked at the details of the complaints, it turns out 3 were from the SAME GUY on the SAME DAY.

Maybe he ate some rancid tofu or something that day.

The same pattern holds on the Simple Programmer list too.

We send multiple emails per week—hundreds of thousands of individual messages per month—and receive just a handful of spam complaints.

There are 2 main things you can do that’ll increase your spam complaints:

1. Hammer your list day after day with “hard pitch” emails for products they’re not interested in.

It’s OK to promote your own products—just don’t machine-gun your audience with multi-level marketing offers, m’kay?

2. “Go dark” on your list, not emailing for months at a time, and then surfacing one day when they least expect it.

This is probably the #1 reason for most spam complaints—people just forget they signed up for your list.

And they hit the Spam button reflexively.

(If I had to guess, I’d say this was most likely the issue for Justin.)

Avoid these two extremes and you need not fear the spam button.